Chef Scotty made this recipe for our Viking Lunch in Houston today. The brine solution really takes it over the top! Consider it when you are grilling chicken as well. Make a lot, this will go fast !

Ingredients

1 gallon                             cold
water

1 cup + 2 teaspoons         kosher
salt

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons   honey

12                                      bay
leaves

1                                        head
of garlic, smashed, not peeled

2 tablespoons                   black
peppercorns

3 large                               rosemary sprigs

1 small                              bunch
of thyme

1 small                              bunch
of parsley

Finely grated zest & juice of 2 lemons

2                                        3-pound chickens

3 cups                                all-purpose
flour

2 tablespoons                   garlic
powder

2 tablespoons                   onion
powder

2 teaspoons                      cayenne
pepper

2 cups                                buttermilk

Vegetable oil, for frying (Chef Scotty recommends peanut oil)

Rosemary and thyme sprigs, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a very large
    pot, combine 1 quart of the water with 1 cup of the salt and the honey,
    bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme and parsley. Add the
    lemon zest and juice and the lemon halves and bring to a simmer over
    moderate heat, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Let cool completely,
    then stir in the remaining 3 quarts of cold water. Add the chickens, being
    sure they're completely submerged, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain the chickens
    and pat dry. Scrape off any herbs or peppercorns stuck to the skin and cut
    each bird into 8 pieces, keeping the breast meat on the bone.
  3. In a large bowl,
    combine the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and the remaining
    2 teaspoons of salt. Put the buttermilk in a large, shallow bowl. Working
    with a few pieces at a time, dip the chicken in the buttermilk, then
    dredge in the flour mixture, pressing so it adheres all over. Transfer the
    chicken to a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  4. In a very large,
    deep skillet, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 330°. Fry the chicken in 2
    or 3 batches over moderate heat, turning once, until golden and crunchy
    and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each
    piece registers 160°, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to paper
    towels to drain, and keep warm in a low oven while you fry the remaining
    chicken pieces. Transfer the fried chicken to a platter, garnish with the
    herb sprigs and serve hot or at room temperature.


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